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Town Investigates Hateful Bulletin

Following recent reports of a racially charged incident — surrounding allegations that an unknown Town of Hempstead employee intentionally posted a picture of a monkey as a hate-fueled reference of an African-American co-worker — town officials announced they will mandate new and intensive diversity training for all employees working at the Highway and Parks department facility in Levittown. 

 

“We have united as brothers and sisters to say ‘NO’ to hatred in our communities,” said Town Supervisor Kate Murray.  “We are speaking out, letting everyone know that acts of hatred will not be tolerated in Hempstead Town.”

 

The incident was first reported by Jimmy Howard, an African-American employee with the town’s highway and parks department, who was outraged to see that a co-worker had posted the image to the department’s bulletin board, with the label “Jimmy’s baby picture.” 

 

On April 29, town officials, clergy members and community leaders gathered in prayer circle to demonstrate a powerful and unified voice calling for an end to acts of hatred, violence and discrimination. 

 

“Today I stand here to condemn such an act of racism to Mr. Howard,” said Melvin Harris with the NAACP in Hempstead. “No one in America should have to come to work to take care of their family and be met with such an offensive act.” 

 

Taking swift action, town officials said they plan to conduct their own investigation to find the culprit(s) responsible for posting the picture to the Highway Department bulletin board. The incident has also been referred to the Nassau County Police Department and District Attorney Kathleen Rice’s office. 

 

Town Councilwoman Dorothy Goosby said that as an African-American citizen she was offended and repulsed to learn of the allegations and vowed to work towards bringing an end to the displays of ignorance and hatred. 

 

“Employees must be sensitive to their colleagues at work and respectful of each other,” Goosby said.  “Every worker needs to clearly understand that despicable actions like this are offensive and hurtful to others, and are entirely unacceptable.”

 

As a result of the incident all 25 town employees in the department will take a new and intensive diversity training.

News

Nassau County drivers are up in arms due to the recent implementation of school zone speed cameras, which have issued numerous violations since they were installed just weeks ago. The source of residents beef with the county’s speed cameras stems from the cameras issuing speed violations even when school wasn’t in session.

 

Director of Nassau County Traffic Safety Chris Mistron said that while some residents were taken by surprise, summer school hours are still considered a violation period. 

One local mom was concerned about her shy daughter’s first acting class at the newly opened Neighborhood Entertainment Arts and Theatre (NEAT) at 166 Center Lane in Levittown; but after her daughter’s lesson with Theatre Director Watson Miller, she was surprised to hear her daughter broke out of her shell, singing not one, but two songs for the class. 

 

“My husband has a very special gift with kids,” Koula Miller said. “He brings out the best in them.” 


Sports

Golfer Annie Park, 19, of Levittown came close at the U.S. Women’s Amateur tourney, but missed the cut, finishing at 149, 9 strokes over par and just one stroke away from the match-play cut-off. 

 

“I couldn’t make any putts, so then I had more pressure into my shots to get it closer,” Park said, “but obviously that’s not going to work.”

It might not be what you think of as a traditional sport, but at Eisenhower Park people are doing flips in the air and dangling from harnesses, training at I.FLY, a recreational flying trapeze and circus arts program.

 

Anna Marie Cagnazzi is a fairly new convert. “I love the freedom that I feel and the sense of accomplishment that I get,” Cagnazzi said. “Everyone always cheers, and I feel so good about myself. You don’t get to feel that in your everyday life.”

 

Over a year ago the 30-year-old Bethpage resident had no idea that a regular person could trapeze recreationally. Then a co-worker suggested they try a I.FLY class together. 


Calendar

BOE Meeting - August 13

Job Fair - August 13

Liverpool Shuffle - August 14 


Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
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